Earlier this week, things got a little heated between two pop mega-entities when the VMA nominations came out. Nicki Minaj was a little pissed that her “Anaconda” video had been shut out of some key categories, and she voiced that displeasure on Twitter: “If I was a different ‘kind’ of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well… When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination.” This was pretty clearly a larger point about race and culture, but old Nicki supporter Taylor Swift, who did get nominated for those major categories, took it as a personal attack: “I’ve done nothing but love & support you. It’s unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot..” And as something of a vague peace offering, she also offered this: “If I win, please come up with me!! You’re invited to any stage I’m ever on.”
Someone on Twitter rightly pointed out that everything Swift said in this exchange was like something Piper Chapman would’ve said on Orange Is The New Black. Part of white privilege is asserting that all your accomplishments are yours alone, and you can see a ton of that in Swift’s defensiveness here. And it doesn’t help matters that the whole celebrity-news industrial complex rumbled to life to support Swift, basically saying that she’d put Nicki in her place. A VMA nomination is a dumb thing to get bent out of shape about, sure, but Minaj was making a point about cultural visibility, not about the idea that she’d made a better video than Swift. Anyway! Happy ending here, since Swift has realized that she messed up, and she’s apologized on Twitter:
I thought I was being called out. I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke. I'm sorry, Nicki. @NICKIMINAJ
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 23, 2015
That means so much Taylor, thank you. @taylorswift13 ??????
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) July 23, 2015
Now: Can we please agree to stop taking the VMAs seriously as awards from now until forever?